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WORKING WITH DEPRESSION THROUGH AN EXISTENTIAL LENS - Skills for exploring and understanding loss of meaning for depressed clients

Event Details
Date: 4 Sept 2020
Venue: Melbourne, Vic
CPD hrs: 7

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Organiser: The Professional Development People

* Also available as a live webcast on the 17th June 2020 click here

Drawing on existential philosophy and existential integrative practice frameworks, this seminar aims to engage the participants through a blend of existentially-informed understanding of depression and associated moods and symptoms, experiential learning, and opportunities to experiment with embodied and creative ways of working with adolescents and adults living within the experience of depression. The existential perspective differs significantly from the traditional models of conceptualising the presentation of depression and subsequent assessment and treatment (medical, genetic, or biopsychosocial model). The philosophical foundation of existential therapy offers a different view of the presence and significance of depression in one’s life and frames the experience of depression as an encounter with meaninglessness and as a loss of purpose and meaning, as a consequence of encountering some of life’s more painful fluctuations. Existential perspective holds that humans will fall into despair as a result of encountering harsh facts of life; life brings loss, change, disappointment, pain, suffering – sometimes beyond what anyone thought possible to endure. Existential therapy goes beyond the symptom of depression as experienced by the individual alone and places depression within the individual’s interactions with the world. Existentially, the depressed client is stuck in the present; their past is one of failure to live up to one’s potentialities, and their future hopeless. Where there is loss of hope, loss of meaning follows. If everything is meaningless, then connections to people, relationships, projects, future, self – they are strained and sometimes severed by the client who feels that there is no point to any of them. This seminar aims to explore ways of working with clients who experience just that, and support clients to find a reason to – as expressed by R. D. Laing – “still put on a coat and a tie, under the circumstances”. Consequently, the seminar offers a variety of experiential and creative approaches as ways to support the client to interact differently with their world. It invites the participants to experiment with the existential and meaning-oriented manner of working with clients. These practical intervention strategies are based on research into meaning-centered therapies that show meaning making as crucial in one’s reauthoring of their depression story, towards a story of a meaningful and purposeful existence that is worth engaging with and living out. In the words of Viktor Frankl: “Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way the moment it finds a meaning”.

Learning objectives

  1. Gain an understanding of the existential nature of the experience of depression
  2. Explore own relationship to lived experience of depression and loss of meaning
  3. Take away practical and creative ways to support clients to reauthor the story of their depressed self and reconnect with meaning and purpose
  4. Increase confidence and capacity in working with clients with complex presentations of depression
  5. Gain an understanding of evidence-based meaning-centered practice and its relevance to your work

Presenter details

Maya Floyd is a lecturer at the Australian College of Applied Psychology, a clinical supervisor for counsellors and psychologists, and a 4+2 accreditation principal supervisor. Maya has over 13 years’ experience in psychology and counselling in non-government organisations and private practice, providing services to adolescents, adults, and families. Her unique blend of existentially oriented approach and background in psychology allows clients to experience counselling that is evidence-based and deeply personal to their concerns, supportive of their values, and begins with the client's experience and understanding of the problem. Maya holds a BA and Postgrad Dip in Psychology, a Cert IV in Training and Assessment, a Certificate and Specialisation in Existential Practice, and is currently completing a Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Her principal interest is in embodied living and fidelity to one’s experience and how this way of being and relating can transform one’s existence.

Location and date

Mantra on Russell
222 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

4 September 2020

9:15am - 4:30pm

* Also available as a live webcast on the 17th June 2020 click here


Standard fee $298
This event is fully catered and all resources are provided. Students and new graduates may apply to attend at a discount apply here.


Register online by clicking here

Ph: 1300 887 622 OR Inquire about this as inhouse training, wherever you are - we come to you.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers